No Hydroponics in Organic
January 16th, 2019
PCC joined with other organic advocates in endorsing a petition to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to stop labeling hydroponically produced food as organic.
In 2010 the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) voted to disallow organic certification of hydroponic agriculture. The NOSB determined that U.S. organic law requires plants to be grown in soil, with the focus on enhancing soil fertility. The board also determined growing plants in water or air, using a mixture of natural and synthetic nutrients, does not meet the letter or spirit of the Organic Foods Production Act.
Despite these findings from the NOSB and outcry from organic farmers and advocates alike, the National Organic Program (NOP) continues to allow certification of hydroponically grown produce as organic.
The petition, filed by Center for Food Safety, on January 16, 2019, asks USDA to act on the recommendations of the NOSB, take several rulemaking steps to uphold the organic standards surrounding soil fertility and ecosystems, and to stop the current certification of hydroponically produced agriculture as organic.